update on my 79 y/o mother

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worried daughter
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Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/29/2008 8:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Okay, so last Thursday we went and saw the GI doc. Talked about everything that happened in the past month while he was gone. Discussed the severe fatigue and shortness of air. Also asked about the joint pains. He listened to her heart and lungs and was concerned because her heart was irregular. He ordered an EKG, lab work, and chest xray. He was more concerned about her heart and said we would maybe start weaning the Entocort later, after we dealt with the heart issues. We return to see him in 3 weeks. In the meantime, its 4pm and I take my Mom to the outpatient clinic and the chest xray is done and the lab work is done and the EKG is done, now its 530pm and all offices are closed. The EKG did show Atrial Fibrillation. (I happen to be a cardiac nurse and know what it looks like) Called early the next morning and got an appointment with her PCP. By the time we saw the PCP, her heart was regular and another EKG showed no Atrial Fibrillation. He compared it to the previous days EKG, yes she is going in and out of Atrial Fib. Starts her on Amiodorone and Coumadin and did more lab work. To follow up in 1 week for Protime and visit. Probably alot of fatigue and shortness of air related to Atrial Fib. The lab the GI doc did the day before did show an elevation of the Alk Phos, PCP said this could be due to the flare of Crohns and will recheck later. Alk Phos was normal when she had lab done on 12/26 at the urgent care clinic, the day after her abdominal pain started. Also, her Albumin was low at 3, it was normal on 12/26. The chest xray only showed some mild chronic changes, no pneumonia or active process. The lab the PCP did the day after the GI docs lab showed anemia. Her Hgb was 10. Could account for some of the fatigue also. But her Hgb on 12/26 was 12. No bloody stools, no tarry or black stools, no vomitting blood. Of coarse the lab on 12/26 was done at the very beginning of her flare when all these problems started. The PCP had her come in today for a re-check of her Hgb and to do some iron testing and to check her bleeding time. I know its not the Coumadin because this lab was drawn on Friday before she started the Coumadin. She still has joint pains, mainly in shoulders and ribs. They gave her mild pain pills, Wygesic. I had her start taking iron and sublingual B12. She is eating better and not having alot of abd pain. Some diarrhea but she says that the Immodium helps that. No nausea or vomitting. Neither doctor seemed to concerned with the joint pain. I'm surprised that the GI doc didnt expand on that a little more, but of coarse he was concerned about her heart. He called the next to check on her. Has anyone experienced heart problems with Crohns? (it could just be her age) With no signs of bleeding, could her Hgb dropped like that in one month? Anything else I need to ask? It seems like I have to be kinda pushy with the doctors and it makes me feel bad. I also feel frustrated because I feel like I should be able to fix this and I cant. She has good doctors and its up to them to treat her but I cant seem to let it go. I worry way too much. My Mom says to stop trying to "micromanage" everything. Things will be what they be. Any suggestions? Sorry for the long post, its been awhile and wanted to update. Thank you for all your support and help.

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Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7119
   Posted 1/29/2008 9:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Worried - I know what it is like to be a medical professional and want to "fix it." There are some things one cannot fix no matter what they try. While it is good to be hypervigilant in overseeing your mother's care, if she is commenting about micromanaging, then it is likely you might be obsessing a bit much. [Not trying to be too harsh here.].

You have presented a very thorough medical history. We are not doctors but sometimes can pick up some things regarding GI issues. I would think that your mother's atrial fib is more a factor of her age rather than her disease. She is of the age where people develop this. I thnk it's great that they were most interested in stabilizing the heart issues first as that is what should have been done.

When you talk about joint pain you are including her ribs. That is not usually an area involved in typical Crohn's arthritis issues. With her heart irregularities, I would think that she is likely experiencing periods of SOB which could lead to deeper than normal inspirations equaling unusual [for her] chest expansions. You being a cardiac nurse can correct me on that.

If you don't feel her joint issues are being addressed appropriately, what about taking her to a rheumatologist for an evaluation?

Keep posting - we do care. sorry I can't be of more help.
Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, diffuse connective tissue disease, Sjogren's Syndrome ?

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/29/2008 9:52 PM (GMT -7)   

Dear Worried Daughter,
Your Mother is so blessed to have you in her life and helping to care for her. I will keep both you and Mother in my prayers.

"God does not place his lighthouse on some distant shore.  He places it within you.  It's a Light that never dims or flickers - penetrating the deepest part of your heart with truth, love and life."

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic  ~ Crohn's
*~* http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~

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